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Winter League Report, November 5
11/05/2012 5:29 PM ET
Alfredo Amezaga is playing winter ball in Mexico and is one of the league's hottest hitters.
Alfredo Amezaga is playing winter ball in Mexico and is one of the league's hottest hitters. (Chris Donahue)
Untitled Document

I-CUBS WINTER LEAGUE UPDATE
November 5, 2012

The free agency period is underway for Major League Baseball and we have a complete list of former I-Cubs on the market in our transactions section this week. We've also got updates on former I-Cubs and some Chicago Cubs prospects in action around the Arizona Fall League, the Caribbean leagues, and international baseball. Check back every week to keep up with news and notes on your favorite former I-Cubs.

TRANSACTIONS:
Last week, we reported that the Cubs had outrighted six players off their 40-man roster. Among those, OF Joe Matherand RH Justin Germano refused their assignments and are now free agents. In other moves, the New York Yankees exercised their option on RH David Aardsma (2006 with Iowa), but IF Casey McGehee (2006-08) refused his minor league assignment and is a free agent. The Toronto Blue Jays exercised their option on LH Darren Oliver (2005) and claimed LH Scott Maine (2010-12) off waivers from the Cleveland Indians. The Indians named Brad Mills their new third base coach. Mills managed the I-Cubs in 1992. The Arizona Diamondbacks declined their option on C Henry Blanco (rehab in 2007) and the veteran backstop is now a free agent. The Milwaukee Brewers signed RH Jairo Asencio (2012) to a minor league free agent deal that includes an invitation to spring training. Here is a complete list of former I-Cubs that are on the Major League free agent market: IF Ryan Theriot (2006) and OF Angel Pagan (2006-07) from the San Francisco Giants, IF Ronny Cedeno (2004-05, '07) from the New York Mets, RH Carlos Zambrano (2000-02, 2010) from the Miami Marlins, IF Miguel Cairo (1997, 2001) from the Cincinnati Reds, OF Reed Johnson (rehab in 2007, IF Eric Hinske (1999), RH Miguel Batista (1997), and IF Jeff Baker (rehab in '07) from the Atlanta Braves, RH Kyle Farnsworth (1998-2000, '02) from the Tampa Bay Rays, and Ryan Dempster (2004, '07) from the Texas Rangers.

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE:

Zulia remains in first place with a record of 13-7. RH Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2010-11) had a strong start on Nov. 1 against LaGuaira. He allowed one run on three hits in five innings and struck out eight for the win. Lara has won seven of their last 10 and jumped into second place with an 11-8 record. IF Luis Valbuena (2012) made his first appearance on Oct. 24 and has hit safely in nine of his fist 10, including three multi-hit games. Margarita has dropped seven of 10 to fall to fourth place at 10-9. After a hot start, OF Jackson Melian (2003) has cooled off considerably. He is 4-for-22 (.182) and does not have an extra-base hit or an RBI in his last seven games. He is still third in the league in on-base percentage (.455) and slugging (.630). C Max Ramirez (2010) had consecutive three-hits games on Nov. 2-3 and has hit safely in four of his last five. He is second in the league in batting (.396) and fourth in OBP (.453). LH Les Walrond (2006-08) has allowed four runs in 15 innings for a 2.40 ERA in his last three starts, but hasn't figured in a decision. He is tied for second in the league with 11 walks. RH Yoanner Negrin (2012) pitched six shutout innings and struck out eight in a win over Aragua on Nov. 2. Negrin is seventh in the league in ERA (1.99) and fourth in strikeouts (21). Buddy Bailey's (2007) Aragua team has lost nine in a row and sit at the bottom of the standings at 5-15. IF Ronny Cedeno (2004-05, '07) joined the Tigres this week and has six hits in his first five games.

REGULAR SEASON STATS:

Player Team

Yr(s) with I-Cubs

AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS
Juan Apodaca Zulia 2012
.194
13
31
4
6
0
1
0
4
6
7
0
0
.316
.258
.574
Andres Blanco Magallanes 2008-09
.167
19
54
8
9
1
1
0
4
12
17
0
0
.333
.222
.556
Henry Blanco Margarita 2007
.053
15
38
1
2
0
0
0
3
4
14
0
0
.136
.053
.189
Ronny Cedeno Aragua 2004-05, '07
.300
5
20
0
6
0
0
0
1
1
2
0
1
.333
.300
.633
Robinson Chirinos Magallanes 2010
.158
6
19
1
3
0
0
0
0
4
9
0
0
.304
.158
.462
Jae-Hoon Ha Aragua Cubs Prospect
.233
14
43
3
10
2
0
0
3
4
15
4
0
.298
.279
.577
Josh Kroeger Caracas 2007-08
.179
9
28
4
5
0
0
0
1
9
3
2
1
.410
.179
.589
Jackson Melian Margarita 2003
.333
16
54
9
18
4
0
4
15
8
15
1
2
.455
.630

1.084

Max Ramirez Margarita 2011
.396
15
48
9
19
3
0
0
3
5
5
0
0
.453
.458
.911
Luis Valbuena Lara 2012
.382
10
34
6
13
5
0
0
4
11
6
0
0
.533
.529
1.063
Ty Wright Aragua 2010-12
.266
18
64
6
17
2
2
1
4
0
9
0
0
.277
.406
.683

LEAGUE LEADERS:

Jackson Melian: .455 OBP (3), .630 SLG (3)
Max Ramirez:
.396 AVG (2), .430 OBP (4)
Jae-Hoon Ha:
4SB (T2)
Ty Wright:
2TRPL (T1)

Pitcher Team Yr(s) with I-Cubs
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
IBB
SO
WP

OPP AVG.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx Zulia 2010-11
0
0
0.84
3
2
0
0
10.2
7
1
1
0
0
1
0
11
0
.184
Yoanner Negrin Caracas 2012
2
1
1.99
5
5
0
0
22.2
22
5
5
1
1
6
0
21
0
.259
Renyel Pinto Caribes 2004-05
0
1
13.50
1
1
0
0
2.2
5
4
4
2
0
2
0
2
0
.385
Les Walrond La Guaira 2006-08
0
1
3.63
5
5
0
0
22.1
29
11
9
1
1
11
0
17
0
.322

LEAGUE LEADERS:

Yoanner Negrin: 1.99 ERA (7), 21K (4)
Max Ramirez:
11 BB (T2)

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE:

Aguilas Cibaenas (9-6) has won three straight games and seven of their last 10 to move into a first place tie with Estrellas de Oriente. Gigantes del Cibao and Toros del Este are both 7-7 and tied for third, a game and a half behind the leaders. RH Michael Bowden (2012) has joined Aguilas and made his first appearance as a starter on Nov. 2 at Estrellas. RH Miguel Batista (1997) has also moved into a starting role for Aguilas with games on Oct. 30 at Nov. 3 vs. Escogido. RH Frankie De La Cruz (2012) has joined Estrellas and made his first start on Nov. 3 at Licey. RH Jairo Asencio (2012) leads the league with five saves and has finished all nine games he has appeared in. RH Lendy Castillo and LH Randy Keisler (2008) had good weeks for Escogido. Castillo allowed his first earned run in the 13th inning of a loss at Aguilas on Nov. 3, but has struck out six in four innings. Keisler allowed two run on five hits in nine innings over his two starts, but didn't get a decision. A Cubs contingent contributed to a 12-3 win for Toros del Este on Nov. 2 at Licey. LH Horacio Ramirez (2012) started and allowed one run in 4.1 innings. RH Jeff Antigua followed with an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief to earn the win. IF Diory Hernandez (2012) collected four RBI to lead the offense..

REGULAR SEASON STATS:

Player Team

Yr(s) with I-Cubs

AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS
Arismendy Alcantara Gigantes Cubs Prospect
.333
7
3
3
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
.500
.333
.833
Diory Hernandez Toros del Este 2012
.240
14
50
9
12
1
0
1
6
5
10
2
0
.304
.320
.624
Junior Lake Estrellas Cubs Prospect
.263
13
38
5
10
1
0
2
4
4
14
2
0
.349
.447
.796
Felix Pie Estrellas 2006-08
.280
15
50
9
14
2
0
2
6
11
7
3
1
.403
.440
.843
Nate Spears Gigantes 2008-09
.063
6
16
2
1
0
0
0
1
3
5
0
0
.200
.063
.263

LEAGUE LEADERS:

Felix Pie: 11BB (1)

Pitcher Team Yr(s) with I-Cubs
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
IBB
SO
WP

OPP AVG.

Jeff Antigua Toros del Este Cubs Prospect
1
0
1.13
6
0
0
1
8.0
4
1
1
1
0
2
0
10
1
.154
Jairo Asencio Toros del Este 2012
0
2
2.35
9
0
5
5
7.2
9
3
2
0
0
5
1
7
0
.281
Miguel Batista Aguilas 1997
0
0
2.00
3
2
0
0
9.0
13
3
2
0
1
1
0
3
1
.333
Michael Bowden Aguilas 2012
0
0
2.25
1
1
0
0
4.0
4
1
1
1
0
1
0
4
0
.267
Lendy Castillo Escogido Cubs Prospect
0
1
2.25
6
0
0
0
4.0
6
3
1
0
1
2
0
6
2
.353
Frankie De La Cruz Estrellas 2012
0
1
6.75
1
1
0
0
4.0
5
3
3
0
0
4
0
3
2
.357
Randy Keisler Escogido 2008
0
1
3.97
3
3
0
0
11.1
10
5
5
2
1
5
0
5
1
.238
Adalberto Mendez Toros del Este 2005-06
0
0
5.40
2
0
0
0
3.1
5
2
2
0
0
1
0
2
0
.357
Horacio Ramirez Toros del Este 2012
0
0
3.38
3
3
0
0
10.2
12
4
4
1
1
2
0
8
1
.279
Raul Valdes Toros del Este 2005-06
0
0
3.00
1
1
0
0
3.0
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
4
0
.100

LEAGUE LEADERS:

Jairo Asencio: 9 GF (1), 5 SV (1), 9 G (T2)

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE:

Culiacan has won three straight and nine of their last 10. The Tomateros are 15-5 to lead the league. Obregon (12-8) is three games back in second place and Guasave (11-9) is four games back in third. OF Marlon Byrd (rehab in 2011) continues to be the top hitter in Mexico. He has hit safely in seven straight games and 12 of his last 13. On Nov. 4 at Mazatlan, he was 3-for-4 with two homers and three RBI. Byrd is among the league leaders in almost every offensive category in the league. IF Alfredo Amezaga (2012) is right on Byrd's heels. Amezaga has hit safely in nine straight games and 11 of his last 12. He was 3-for-4 with a two-homer game on Nov. 1 at Culiacan and homered again with three RBI on Nov. 4 against Hermosillo. Amezaga is tied with Byrd for the league lead in hits and is third in batting (.361). RH Esmailin Caridad (2009-12) has made five straight appearances without allowing a run. In his last five innings, he has allowed three hits, no runs, no walks, and struck out 10. RH Marco Carrillo (2010-11) is 2-0 in his last two starts, allowing two runs on 12 hits with 10 strikeouts in 13 innings. RH Jay Jackson (2009-12) joined Mazatlan and allowed four runs on six hits in two innings for a loss in his first start on Nov. 3 against Culiacan.

REGULAR SEASON STATS:

Player Team

Yr(s) with I-Cubs

AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS
Alfredo Amezaga Obregon 2012
.361
20
83
14
30
7
1
5
13
8
15
3
1
.413
.651
1.064
Marlon Byrd Culiacan 2011
.405
20
74
21
30
4
0
9
19
10
15
1
1
.483
.824
1.307
Greg Rohan Mazatlan 2012
.205
11
39
4
8
0
0
0
2
2
9
0
1
.244
.205
.449

LEAGUE LEADERS:

Marlon Byrd: .405 AVG (1), 21 R (1), .483 OBP (1), .824 SLG (1), 30 H (T1), 61TB (2), 9 HR (2), 19 RBI (3), 13 XBH (T3)
Alfredo Amezaga:
83 AB (1), 30 H (T1), .361 AVG (3), 54 TB (3), 7 DBL (T3), 13 XBH (T3), .651 SLG (5)

Pitcher Team Yr(s) with I-Cubs
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
IBB
SO
WP

OPP AVG.

Esmailin Caridad Obregon 2009-12
0
1
1.84
11
1
0
0
14.2
16
5
3
0
0
4
0
19
2
.267
Marco Carrillo Obregon 2010-11
2
2
2.63
4
4
0
0
24.0
22
7
7
1
0
9
0
18
1
.244
Jay Jackson Mazatlan 2009-12
0
1
18.00
1
1
0
0
2.0
6
4
4
0
0
1
0
0
0
.545
Sergio Mitre Mexicali 2004-05
1
1
0.00
3
3
0
0
8.1
6
2
0
1
3
3
0
5
1
.200

LEAGUE LEADERS:

Marco Carrillo: 2.63 ERA (4)

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE:

Teams will open play in Puerto Rico on November 8.

REGULAR SEASON STATS:

Player Team

Yr(s) with I-Cubs

AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS

 

Pitcher Team Yr(s) with I-Cubs
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
IBB
SO
WP

OPP AVG.

LEAGUE LEADERS:

 

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE:

The Cubs have seven prospects assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. The Sox are struggling at 5-15 and six and a half games behind first place Scottsdale (12-9). The league took a break for its "Rising Stars" Showcase game on Nov. 3. The East team won the game 9-4. RH Tony Zych was charged with a blown save when he allowed run on three hits in two-thirds of an inning in the top of the fifth, but also picked up the win when the East scored six times in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead. Zych is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in nine games and earned his first save on Oct. 10 against the Peoria Desert Dogs. SS Javier Baez was supposed to represent the Cubs, but suffered a broken right thumb last week and will miss the rest of the Fall League. He is expected to be back at 100% for Spring Training. Baez is leading the AFL in RBI (16) and tied for the league lead with four home runs. IF Logan Watkins will replace him on Mesa's roster. RH OF Matt Szczur posted a pair of multi-hit games last week and hit his first homer on Nov. 1. Szczur is tied for fourth in the league in at-bats (67) and is tied for second with seven stolen bases. OF Rubi Silva is struggling at the plate, going 4-for-35 in his last 10 games. He has shown versatility in the field, starting at all three outfield spots and two games at second base. RH Nick Struck (2011) is working in relief after a full season of starting at double-A Tennessee. His results have been good overall with three of the five runs he has allowed coming in one appearance. His walk-to-strikeout ratio remains an area to work on. RH Dae-Eun Rhee suffered his second loss on Oct. 29 at Surprise. He allowed three runs on two hits and three walks in three innings. RH Kevin Rhoderick has pitched scoreless relief in six of his nine outings.

Player
AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS
Javier Baez
.211
14
57
9
12
2
0
4
16
2
14
3
0
.250
.456
.706
Rubi Silva
.176
14
51
4
9
0
1
0
1
4
17
3
0
.236
.216
.452
Matt Szczur
.269
17
67
8
18
1
1
1
9
9
9
7
3
.364
.358
.722

LEAGUE LEADERS:

Javier Baez: 16RBI (1), 4HR (T1)
Matt Szczur: 67AB (T4), 7SB (T2)

Pitcher
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
SO
Dae-Eun Rhee
0
2
7.11
4
4
0
0
12.2
19
10
10
1
2
4
8
Kevin Rhoderick
0
1
4.82
9
0
0
2
9.1
7
5
5
2
0
2
14
Nick Struck
0
0
4.50
8
0
0
0
10.0
7
5
5
1
0
9
6
Tony Zych
1
0
3.00
9
0
1
1
9.0
12
3
3
0
1
1
4

LEAGUE LEADERS:

Tony Zych: 7GF (T2)

JAPANESE PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL:

1B Micah Hoffpauir (2004-10) and the Nippon-Ham Fighters won the Pacific League title, but fell 4-2 in the best-of-seven Japan Series against the Yomiuri Giants. Hoffpauir finished 1-for-10 with an RBI and a run scored during the series. The Fighters did announce that a contract extension for Hoffpauir through the 2013 season. Hoffpauir had this quote in the Fighters' official release: "I am happy that I will be able to return as a member of the Fighters in 2013 and fight to win with my teammates and the fans. While we were able to win the pennant, we unfortunately failed to win a Nippon Series. Next season, I will prepared to use all my abilities to in order to win a Nippon Series. I look forward to the continued support." During the regular season, Hoffpauir was second on the team in home runs (14) and helped the Fighters to a 73-58 record. IF/OF Edgar Gonzalez (2012) left Iowa after two weeks in April to join the Yomiuri Giants in Japan this year. He hit .236 with four homers and 19 RBI in 57 games during the regular season. He made one start at DH and entered one game as a pinch-hitter in the Japan Series. He was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored against the Fighters. IF Bobby Scales (2008-11) started the season with the New York Mets' organization at Triple-A Buffalo and was leading the International League in hitting in April before going back to Japan. He played for the Orix Buffaloes and hit .262 in 85 games. OF Matt Murton (2005, '07-08) continued his three-year run in Japan and hit .260 with five homers and 38 RBI in 121 games for the Hanshin Tigers. LH Renyel Pinto (2004-05) made the move to Japan this year, but lasted just two starts with the Hawks. He was one of the top pitchers in Venezuela last winter.

Player Team
AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS
Micah Hoffpauir Nippon-Ham Fighters
.234
109
296
28
73
13
0
14
37
25
81
1
1
.311
.432
.743
Matt Murton Hanshin Tigers
.260
121
453
39
118
18
2
5
38
18
56
2
4
.290
.342
.632
Bobby Scales Orix Buffaloes
.262
85
305
42
80
16
3
5
23
47
103
4
1
.373
.384
.757
Edgar Gonzalez Yomiuri Giants
.236
57
174
13
41
12
0
4
19
0
2
13
46
.291
.374
.665

 

Pitcher Team
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
SO
Renyel Pinto Fukuoka Softbank Hawks
1
1
7.36
2
2
0
0
7.1
9
8
6
1
1
7
6

WOLRD BASEBALL CLASSIC QUALIFIERS:

The World Baseball Classic will be played again in March and tournaments have started for countries to qualify for the final tournament in the spring. Spain beat Israel 9-7 in the first pool play at Roger Dean Stadium in Florida. South Africa and France were the other teams in the round robin. OF Adam Greenberg (2004, '06) played in two games for Israel before the Miami Marlins gave him his famous at-bat against R.A. Dickey in the regular season finale. Of note, Greenberg didn't register an official at-bat in his two games for Israel. He was a sub in one game and walked in his only plate appearance. C Chris Robinson (2007, '09-11) was an offensive leader for Team Canada's win in the second tournament at the Armin-Wolf Baseball Arena in Germany. Canada beat the host Germans 11-1 in the final game. LH Sheldon McDonald (2012) is also on Team Canada. He spent one day with Iowa this season, but didn't pitch. He spent most of his year with Peoria and was 1-3 with a 1.89 ERA in 33 appearances for the Chiefs. LH's Will Ohman (2001, '05, '07) and Luke Sommer (2011) pitched for Germany. Ohman began last season with the Chicago White Sox and finished the year with triple-A Louisville in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Great Britain and the Czech Republic also played in that tournament. Brazil, Panama, Nicaragua, and Colombia will play November 15-19 at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City, Panama in another pool. Thailand, Phillipines, New Zealand, and Chinese Taipei will play at Xin Zhuang Stadium in Taiwan, November 14-18.

Player Country
AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS
Adam Greenberg Israel
.000
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1.000
.000
1.000
Chris Robinson Canada
.455
3
11
4
5
0
0
1
4
1
1
0
1
.500
.727
1.227

 

Pitcher Tournament
W
L
ERA
G
GS
SV
SVO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
HB
BB
SO
Sheldon McDonald Canada
1
0
6.75
1
0
0
0
1.1
2
1
1
0
1
0
0
Will Ohman Germany
0
0
0.00
2
0
0
0
2.0
2
0
0
0
0
1

1

Luke Sommer Germany
0
1
2.70
2
0
0
0
6.2
6
2
2
2
0
1

7

*Stats are courtesy of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, USA Baseball, and NPB Offical Website.

MLB.com provides daily updates on winter league action here.

We hope you enjoy the Winter League report this off-season. Don't forget to check back each week for more updates. If you know of any players that we should be following in this report that aren't included, please email Media Relations Director Randy Wehofer at randyw@iowacubs.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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